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Zachariah

New Member
Hello out there, I am new to the forum and new to keeping Chameleons. I have a ten month old female Veiled named Fiona. I have alot of expierence with keeping amphibians and know that there's a huge difference in keeping reptiles especially chameleons. I have seven brown anoles (my only other reptiles) and they are happy and healthy and breeding like crazy. I started with one male and two females and they already laid twelve eggs and four have hatched and doing well. Well getting back to Fiona, I have her in a 18 by 18 by 36 inch Repti breeze enclosure and will upgrade to the extra large one as she grows. She has lots of climbing branches with broad leaf fake plants and horizontal basking pearches, vertical climbing vines, a little dripper drinking system, UVB flouresent bulb 8.0, 100 watt repti hallogen basking bulb, and a 100 watt purple night bulb by Zilla. I also have a repti fogger mist machine that looks cool but I'm not sure how healthy it is for her (please let me know if this is helpful or detrimental to her). I keep it on a few hours a day but it's hard to keep humidity in the repti breeze and living in dry Colorado doesn't help either. I also heard that she needs good air circulation so I have a fan on the other side of the room to keep the air moving. The temp in her cage is around 80 during the day and 75 during the night, and 90 to 95 in her basking area, there are a few landings under the basking site so she can choose how heated she needs to be. I want to put some live plants in her enclosure but need some help on what plants are good for her. I found some in books I've been reading but when I went to the garden store they had so many different kinds under the same name, maybe it was the genus. But I didn't want to buy one that will make her sick, so if you know of any please let me know. I made her a large tree that sits in my room with fake leaves, it's about 5 feet tall with 5 or 6 branches reaching out in all directions so that she can get out of her house and roam somewhat freely. She seems to enjoy it and sits at the top and stares at the tv. I use a stick to move her around allowing her to climb on it at her own will so not to stress her out. I feed her gut loaded crickets, roaches, superworms every other day with a calcium and vitamin dusting once a week, (wax worms occasionally) and Romaine lettuce tied up above her highest branch. She seems happy and healthy and has a hardy appetite, very active, with no mites. If I am doing something wrong with her or you have some tips on how to make her life more comfortable and stressfree please let me know so she can have a healthy long life. I also spray her with a vitamin/electrolyte supplement every morning. I also would like to know if a backdrop would be helpful to reduce stress rather than the plain white wall of my room, she is also in a section of my room that gets the least amount of traffic. In the summer I plan on taking her house outside during the day to give her natural sunlight, is that a good idea? I know that this is a long tread but I'd like to know if I am being a good owner. Thanks for reading. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 
Welcome!

Welcome to the forum!

You seem to be doing things pretty well. I do have some pointers for you though. I would change her basking lamp to a 50 or 60w lamp. 100w lamps can cause some pretty bad burns and create a lot of heat. The basking does seem a bit warm for her. Maybe bring it down to 80-87 basking temp. Also it'd be a good idea to get rid of the night lamp. Chameleons sleep when the lights go out, and won't sleep if there is too much light. Personally, my cham room is dark at night. Chameleons don't need a heat lamp at night unless the temp in the room drops to the mid to upper 50's. If that is the case, use of a ceramic heater is a better idea since he doesn't produce light. It's actually a good idea to let them cool down at night. A 10-20 degree drop in temps at night is perfect. The reptifogger is really only needed if you aren't able to keep the room humidity up. But in that case I would install a automatic mister and live plants to help keep humidity up. If you still have issues with humidity a normal household humidifier from Target will work. The issue with foggers is keeping them clean and running. If you have hard water, they don't last long. If you have RO water, use that to lengthen the life of the fogger/humidifier. Another thing to keep in mind is regulating her food. Too much food can cause females, especially veileds to have very large clutches of eggs and can cause complications that can lead to death. It'd be a good idea to read up on Brad Ramsey's blog: http://raisingkittytheveiledchameleon.blogspot.com/. There is a part in there about raising female chameleons: http://raisingkittytheveiledchameleon.blogspot.com/2007/12/keeping-female-veiled.html

Hope that helps a bit!

PS here is a photo of one of my cages... I am using a ficus tree from Home Depot and I trimmed it a bit to make it fit. You'll notice the heat lamp is tilted a bit. This is good for helping prevent burns on the dorsal crest and casque.

 

laurie

Retired Moderator
Hello, welcome & Merry Christmas. I have read the entire thread and I am impressed. It can often take us a while to get people to where you are now. Ok a couple of things, the plants most of us rue are ficus, umbrella & pothos. This is my how to for new people

I personally stay with pothos, umbrella, and ficus, in that order. Before you use any of them in a cage if you want then to be safe for your chameleon & to survive in a cage here are the steps I use. Take the plant new home accompanied by some organic potting soil and kids play sand.When you get the plant home remove all the dirt you can. I save the dirt for my non-cham plants. Now use a bit of dish soap on your hands and wash all the leaves under running water. It really don't hurt the plant and removes any crap the stores have put on them. Next mix the sand & potting soil 1/2 & 1/2, repot the plant, making sure the pot has several holes in the bottom. Even after all that I still cover the top of my plants with rocks so the cham doesn't try to eat dirt. The mixture of sand & soil will allow the water to run out instead of dirt hopping it all in, that keeps the plants from dying. Also when you buy a ficus they will usual drop lots to all of their leaves, but they will come back, it is just what they often do when you move one of them. Good luck.

Now on to lights, is your uvb a tube or a compact? If you get the later model compact some people think they are ok. I would still stay with my reptisun 5.0 18" tube for the cage you have. Your cage sounds adequate for the chameleon you have. Most people always say bigger, bigger, but if your girl is happy then no problem. How cold does it get in your house at night? Unless it get below 60 your cham is fine with no heat light and the temp drop is good for her. If you need extra heat consider a ceramic heat emitter. It is basically a heater that does not emit light. Keep it a safe distance from your cham as those things get way hot. I think you said it is like 70 or 75 at night? way too warm. Regular day temps sound ok but I am not sure of the temp top to bottom, and that in important. A 100 watt might be to hot, I would top out at about 85. For a female some people feel lower temps can result in smaller clutch size, that is safer for the cham.

What you do need is a laying bin. She can lay eggs fertile or not. At her age you need to be ready. She needs a bin that is at least 12x12 and 14 deep. Fill it with the same mix I put in my plants. It needs to be moist so it will hold a tunnel without collapsing. Get the bin in asap. Also post pictures and we can determine - hopefully - if Fiona is gravid. More on this in the next few postings.

Your feeding sounds good, but how much do you feed? At her age I would feed every other day. Even then I would only give her about 8 cricket or other equal food items. More on food later.

Humidity, I have several repti-foggers all stuffed somewhere in the closet. If you need to raise humidity, either wrap 3 sides of the cage with plastic, (I use shower curtains from the dollar store), add lots of live plants (great for cham!!), and mist the young lady several times a day. I use all three methods together. If you wrap the cage, add the plants & do a couple long warm misting, the water will get all the plants wet for your cham to drink from, and the plastic keeps the water in the cages so a couple of papertowels and you have cleaned up. The dripper is what most chams learn to drink from.

The outside sunshine when temp allow is fantastic for your girl. By then you will be a pro. just stay with us.

Ok i am done for now, go enjoy Fiona- wait she should be asleep.:D
 
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Elizadolots

New Member
Hi, Zachariah. Welcome to the forums. This is the best place to learn about chameleon care.

I'll be honest, your giant paragraph was a tad hard to read for me...maybe it's my advanced age or something...

Anyway, from what I see your basking temp is probably a bit high. I think you want that to be in the 85 degree range. 95 is too hot. Remember: they live in trees in a warm environment. Trees tend to be a bit cooler than the area around them.

I think you should ditch the night bulb. Chameleons are good sleepers. They like it dark and cool. Unless you let your house get to arctic temps at night, what is comfortable for you at night is probably comfortable for her.

Females need special attention. They will produce eggs even if they have not mated and that means they have special "lady time" you need to deal with.

I recommend reading all the links in the Basic Husbandry thread stickied here.

In particular, I think you should read the "Raising Kitty" blog linked here.

Inside that, you should look for the discussion on keeping females.
 

laurie

Retired Moderator
Are you saying I am a chick?? :confused:
Wow of all the things I have heard about you, nobody had told me that!!:eek:


Are we both bored or why are we hijacking this guys thread?


Sorry Zac, we are being very bad examples, and I am expected to know better, Kevin is a bad influence.
 
Wow of all the things I have heard about you, nobody had told me that!!:eek:


Are we both bored or why are we hijacking this guys thread?


Sorry Zac, we are being very bad examples, and I am expected to know better, Kevin is a bad influence.
Hey, don't turn this around on me.... lol :p Unless I am going to get another infraction.... :rolleyes:
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
Zachariah...welcome to the forum!

You said..."I also spray her with a vitamin/electrolyte supplement every morning"...why do you spray her...why not spray the bugs?
 

Zachariah

New Member
Thanks for all the great info. Laurie

Hi all of you, thank you for all the great information and all the tips and especially the warm welcome. I will be getting her a laying bin ASAP and will be buying her live plants today. It kind of freaked me out about the egg laying stuff:eek:so now I'm all in a panic on getting her everything she needs, thank God that I have a dad that loves her also and all my pets like family and doesn't have a problem spending the money on getting her what they all need. I showed him the thread on the laying bin and he said "well we better get her what she needs so she's happy and healthy" He calls her baby girl or princess, that's how we came up with the name Fiona (from Shrek):eek: I will try to get pics of her up soon. Thanks again for all the support! Laurie I've accepted your friend request but can't figure out how to reply to your message, I left a message for you but not sure where it went, maybe you did get it, but I wanted to make sure because I never received a confirmation. For all I know it went out to the whole forum:D. I din't want to seem rude and you think that I didn't reply so hopefully you'll read this. Thanks again everyone!
 
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